Let’s talk about the “I’ve never gotten work done” claim that many celebrities make, why they potentially do it, and the probable impact it has on consumers.
#1 The “I’ve never had Botox” claim
In the last blog, we talked about how “Botox” is a brand name for botulinum toxin.
There are brands other than Botox that sell this exact same neurotoxin. So, even without “getting Botox” patients can use an alternative injection that enables fewer wrinkles by mildly and temporarily paralyzing certain muscle groups.
There are several brands of botulinum toxin that prevent dynamic wrinkles, wrinkles that are visible upon making certain facial expressions. Over time, dynamic wrinkles can set in and become static wrinkles.
Static wrinkles are visible when your face is at rest, and certain facial expressions can exacerbate their appearance. So, the more we make facial expressions - the more potential there is for dynamic wrinkles and likewise static wrinkles.
Photo Cred: Wright Jones Plastic Surgery
Although wrinkles portray that we’ve smiled, lived, and loved. Many people, especially those in the public eye, are pressured to look perfect in a way that is not natural. Therefore, they get botulinum toxin and never admit it because oftentimes, being perceived as perfect is key. Here's the problem though - saying “I’ve never had Botox” often implies that they’ve never had botulinum toxin at all.
If a celebrity has gotten a neurotoxin injected, and they don’t want to talk about it - they should not have to. However, it’s problematic when they attribute their “youthful” face to an “anti-aging” or “exfoliating” product they’re paid to promote. Things get even more awkward when a celebrity markets a product as “non-toxic” even though they use a neurotoxin themselves.
The point is - celebrities don’t disclose much about the alterations they’ve had done, and this would be fine if they didn’t use secrecy to create profitable insecurities and mislead consumers.
#2 The “I’ve never had liposuction or a tummy tuck” claim
A celebrity can say “I’ve never had liposuction or a tummy tuck” but use other measures to achieve similar results.
Firstly, let's explain what liposuction and tummy tucks are. Liposuction literally sucks fat from and recontours the body. This can be done in areas underneath the chin as well. Liposuction targets subcutaneous fat deposits. Subcutaneous fat lies between the skin and the underlying muscle. Through a tiny incision, a narrow tube is inserted and used to vacuum this fat layer deep beneath the skin. The tube is moved through the fat layer, breaks fat cells up, and suctions them out (Apesos, MD, 2022).
Photo cred: Allen aesthetic surgery
In contrast, a tummy tuck is a procedure that removes excess fat, skin, and restores the look of a flat and contoured midsection by bringing the rectus abdominus (sit-up muscles) closer together (Apesos, MD, 2022). However, many celebrities opt-in for non-invasive options, and therefore, claim “to have never had work done.”
Photo Cred: Terracina Surgical Arts
A common non-invasive option is CoolSculpting or cryolipolysis, a cosmetic treatment that removes excess fat in stubborn areas. It works by freezing fat cells, killing, and breaking them down in the process. CoolSculpting is a non-invasive procedure, meaning it does not involve cuts, anesthesia, or instruments entering the body. “During the procedure, the practitioner vacuums the skin above the area of fatty tissue into an applicator that cools the fat cells. The cold temperatures numb the site, and some people report feeling a cooling sensation” Medical News Today, 2015). CoolSculpintg was the most used body sculpting procedure in the United States in 2018 (Statista).
Secondly, you can also use deoxycholic acid or “Kybella” to dissolve fat. When it comes to injectable treatments, Kybella is best known for treating double chins with great results. However, it can also be used around the upper and lower abdomen to treat belly fat. It is also known to treat love handles, or the pockets of fat that sit at the side of the hips (Healthline, 2018).
Both Kybella and CoolSculpting can require multiple treatments, but technically you “never go under the knife” to have them. In other words, celebrities can get CoolSculpintg or Kybella and still claim that they've never gotten surgery but simultaneously still achieve their desired look.
These procedures can be wonderful, and there’s nothing wrong with them, but it can be deceptive when celebrities deny “having work done.” Comparing ourselves to someone who has an amazing body without knowing they’ve had work done can alter our perception of beauty and fitness in the wrong way. It’s especially harmful when a celebrity does this whilst promoting weight loss pills, detox diets, diuretic teas, weight loss shakes, or fitness products. While celebrities can do what they want with their bodies, they shouldn’t portray perfection and retouched bodies as the standard.
#3 The “I’ve never had a nose job” claim
A celebrity can technically say, “I have never had a nose job,” but still get fillers that change their nose shape. Nose injectables are actually dermal fillers that change the shape of your nose for up to 6 months (Healthline, 2020).
A gel-like injectable ingredient (usuallyhyaluronic acid) is inserted underneath your skin in the areas where you wish to create smoother lines or volume. You can also get fillers within the jaw line. The filler ingredient settles into the deeper skin layers and holds its shape. This can change the look of your nose for anywhere from 4 months to 3 years, depending on your skin, your desired results, and the ingredient used (Healthline, 2020).
Photo Cred: Lasting Looks Clinic
Most people get nose fillers to smooth out the bridge of their nose, make their nose less angular, and likewise achieve the “ideally shaped nose.” As you scroll through social media, many celebrities have this “ideally” shaped, tight, and contoured nose. This is the standard look, but it’s a standard look based on a retouch. Thus, when celebrities deny having work done, this promotes unrealistic expectations of what is truly normal, natural, and beautiful.
#4 The “I’ve never had a face lift" claim
Facelifts are a surgical procedure where the skin is brought up to help with wrinkles, sagginess, and to contour the face. Alternatively, there are also thread lifts. These are much less invasive, and they are actually barbed threads injected into the face. They literally lift the face up and create a “lifted eye” or “facelift look” without having to have one.
Photo Cred: Jenesis Lipoplasty & Laser
So, imagine a celebrity who’s gotten a threadlift stating that they’ve never had a facelift. How does that sound? It sounds like their "perfect" appearance is from a diet, a skincare routine, or from nothing at all.
Consequently, when they use inadvertent messaging and claims about their appearance to promote products - that becomes a problem.
Celebrities don’t have to share that they’ve had work done, but when their appearance is used for beauty marketing, a little honesty could prevent a whole lot of unhealthy thinking and behavior within society.